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Data Security and Breach Standards Gain New Momentum

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With a new Congress and Administration, most policy experts would have agreed that there was little potential for sweeping new data security or breach notification standards. Yet, it appears that unexpected openings in the Congressional calendar have left room for some activity in the Senate on consumer privacy and cybersecurity. NAA/NMHC are tracking these issues carefully because apartment firms and their third-party service providers regularly collect, use and maintain sensitive financial and personal data about residents, prospective residents and employees that leave them vulnerable to cyber incidents. Currently, NAA/NMHC member companies must comply with a patchwork of 47 different state laws that govern this space.

A centrist working group in the Senate has been trying to hammer out a compromise bill for two years and recently seized upon concerns raised over the Trump Administration actions rescinding broadband privacy regulations. This group includes Democratic Senators Carper, Feinstein, Warner, and GOP Senators Grassley, Thune and Blunt. The goal of their effort is to put together a compromise data security and breach notification package that could be palatable for the financial, retail, and main street-type industries and provide robust protection for consumers. While a deal has not yet been reached, it appears that discussions will continue over the next month and that bipartisan group could potentially release a draft bill in the near future before being considered by the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees.

No substantial action has taken place in the House this year, yet NAA/NMHC continue to raise the issue with both House and Senate leaders and express concerns about any legislation that imposes overly burdensome requirements on businesses without regard to their scope and size. NAA/NMHC continue to work to ensure that any proposal that moves forward recognizes the unique nature and needs of our industry while ensuring the data we use as an industry is secure.

Provided by NMHC as part of the NAA/NMHC Joint Legislative Program